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Does anyone have one of these?  It is in great shape but doesn't have instruction sheet.  I bought it for Future Club Operation, but now may do home Layout.

What is the minimum radius this will run on? Any idea how many Weaver 40' freight cars this will comfortably pull on a FLAT layout at that MINIMUM diameter? Does Plastic Weaver vs Metal Intermountain Wheels on the cars make much of a difference?

Any "tips" for operating this Loco?

Thank you for your Help!Scale Box Front

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Barring blind drivers, most Northerns (4-8-4's) need 72" radius. If it is 2 rail, a rectifier (converts AC to DC) should run it (Williams made both 2 and 3 rail versions). If it has pickup rollers, it is 3 rail, and you will need a transformer, and are on the wrong forum.

I don't recommend plastic wheels on cars for 2 rail operation, as they leave crud on your track.

What it will pull, you will need to test.

Good Luck!

ECI

Thanks ECI - I was hoping for 54" radius but figured that might be the case.  I actually also have this Loco in 3R.  Strangely on that box, it spells out the the minimum curve.  The rule of thumb is 2 to 1 so not surprised by what you said.  But I do want to confirm, you actually have this Loco and have operated to know, correct?3R Box Front   

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Pat - Thanks for the reply.  It is fully Flanged, if that is what you were wondering about.  Both the 2R version and 3R version I have are OEM not conversions.  It defies me why on the 3R they would give the information on the box but not for the 2R.  I have not operated this so was hoping to find someone that has the instructions or experience actually operating it.

Pat - Thanks for the reply.  It is fully Flanged, if that is what you were wondering about.  Both the 2R version and 3R version I have are OEM not conversions.  It defies me why on the 3R they would give the information on the box but not for the 2R.  I have not operated this so was hoping to find someone that has the instructions or experience actually operating it.

I’ve had the 3 rail version, pretty good runner, I wouldn’t say the best, that crown belongs to MTH’s Niagara for out of the box performance,…..Lionel’s CCII Niagara is a box full of trouble IMO, …I do not know about the 2 rail model, but I’d imagine the fully flanged set of drivers and given how tall they are would require some wide radius……I’ve never run my Williams 3 rail Niagara on anything less than O-81 ( 3 rail terms ) so I can’t say what exactly the minimum is or should be,……when I started amassing MTH Niagaras, the Williams went on the chopping block,….to me it was just kinda lack luster VS. the MTH …..the Lionel Niagara can be made into a good runner, and I do own one of those, but be prepared to gut a toolbox like a fish if you want it to run good,……the only real issue I had with my Williams Niagara was the pick up swing arms didn’t reach the 3rd rail very well, they tried to hang off the rail, …so a little bend towards the down side and that resolved the problem……after that it ran fine….a little noisy, but most of those tall driver Williams are……

Pat

Thanks ECI - I was hoping for 54" radius but figured that might be the case.  I actually also have this Loco in 3R.  Strangely on that box, it spells out the the minimum curve.  The rule of thumb is 2 to 1 so not surprised by what you said.  But I do want to confirm, you actually have this Loco and have operated to know, correct? 

Jim,  I do NOT have that exact loco. I have a US Hobbies version, but more or less the same beast. Back when I got into the hobby, 72 inch RADIUS was considered the de facto number which most O scale engines would navigate. I feel fairly safe saying 72 inch RADIUS will work for your engine, and maybe less. You could always lay out some test curves on the floor.

ECI

Williams locomotives have more lateral play in the drivers than most other 2 rail models.  I doubt the flanges will be the issue on your Williams locomotive as they typically build in a fair amount of lateral play in their models.   Commonly with 4-wheel trailing trucks the limiting factor negotiating tight curves occurs if the insulated rear trailing truck wheel (left side) makes contact with the frame creating a short.  The 2 rail Williams model used the same "high rise" frame as on their 3 rail brothers giving the trailing truck a wide swing.  Another potential limiting factors is with the leading truck making contact with the cylinders.  To mitigate that manufactures who offer the same model in 3 and 2 rail often slightly stretch the leading truck wheelbase, or use smaller diameter wheels, or do both.   The best way to know for sure what your locomotive can handle is to tack down 2 pieces of 2 rail flex track on a sheet of plywood (or Homosote) to a variety of radii and see what your locomotive can handle.

Last edited by Keystoned Ed

Thanks Hudson5432 - You make a good point, it is why I asked for instructions for this particular Loco not just any Williams 2R 4-8-4.  As I mentioned I have both 2R and 3R versions.  The  3R states O-72 (so  36" radius) but the wheels on the Tender and the Loco are different (not just the Drivers) 2R vs 3R.

Someone reading this forum I think must have one of these Locos, they aren't that rare.  Although I see MANY more 3R for sale than 2R.

Thank you guys!  Just decided to check this to see if any new information.

j2morris - Exactly the info I have been hoping for Thank You Very Much!  Believe it or not was thinking of using 45" radius if I could, so your post definitely helped me.

I had started planning my layout and one mainline was going to be 45R the other 49.5R  That is the max I can comfortably fit in the space I have to work with.  54R is just is a little too close to the walls!

Hi Jim,



A bit of an update.  I have now put Soundtraxx Tsunami DCC and sound into my Niagara.  It was partially in pieces when I last wrote but now I have run it extensively.  It runs great at the club where we have 6' radius curves but not great at home where I have radius' as sharp as 45".  I recommend greater than 49" radius for best results.  At the BSMRM it runs like a champ and pulls long passenger trains.



JJ

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